Amatrice. Photo by YouReporter.

Pope Plans to Visit Quake Sites 'as Soon as Possible'; Death Toll Close to 300

Leads Faithful in ‘Hail Mary’ for Victims

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After praying the midday Angelus today with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said that as soon as he can, he plans to visit the sites devastated by earthquakes this week.
“I wish to renew my spiritual closeness to the inhabitants of Latium, the Marches and Umbria, hard hit by the earthquake in these past days,” he said, mentioning specifically the people of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Norcia.
“Again I say to those dear people that the Church shares their suffering and their worries,” he said.
The death toll from Wednesday’s quake and aftershocks was reaching 300 over the weekend.
Inviting the faithful to pray, the Holy Father praised the work of the responders, saying their efforts show “how important solidarity is in order to overcome painful trials.”
“Dear brothers and sisters, as soon as it is possible, I hope to come to see you, to bring you in person the comfort of the Faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope,” he said.
Then he prayed the Hail Mary with the people in the Square.

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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